Citi Prestige vs American Express Platinum: Compare Two Premium Travel Cards

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Good for Travel and Dining
Editor’s Score: (3.5/5)
Citi Prestige® Credit Card
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Citi Prestige® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.5/5)
Rewards rate:

Earn 5 points per $1 on Air travel. Earn 5 points per $1 on Restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 on Hotels. Earn 3 points per $1 on Cruise Lines. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

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Our Pick
Good for Premium Benefits
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
The Platinum Card® from American Express
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The Platinum Card® from American Express
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
Rewards rate:

Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

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  • Intro offer:
    50,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $495
  • Regular APR:
    16.99% – 23.99% variable APR based on your creditworthiness*
  • Recommended credit score:
    740-850 (Excellent)
  • Rewards rate:

    Earn 5 points per $1 on Air travel. Earn 5 points per $1 on Restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 on Hotels. Earn 3 points per $1 on Cruise Lines. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

  • Intro offer:
    Earn 100,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $695
  • Regular APR:
    See Pay Over Time APR
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Rewards rate:

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • N/A
Cons
  • N/A
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Valuable welcome offer
  • Tiered rewards structure
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Travel perks including lounge access and airline fee credits
Cons
  • Very high annual fee
  • Relatively high APR
  • Not great for rewards outside travel categories
Additional Card Details
Additional Card Details
  • N/A
Additional Card Details
  • Up to $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Up to $240 in digital entertainment credits (up to $20 per month) on eligible purchases and subscriptions with: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required
  • Up to $155 annual Walmart+ membership credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • Up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card
  • $189 annual statement credit for a Clear® membership
  • Up to $200 in Uber Cash to use on rides or Uber Eats in the U.S. annually ($15 per month and a bonus $20 in December), plus Uber VIP access
  • $300 in annual statement credits (up to $25 per month) on eligible Equinox memberships or a digital subscriptions to Equinox+, an on-demand fitness app
  • Up to $100 in annual statement credits toward purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com (up to $50 every 6 months, per calendar year)
  • Access to American Express Global Lounge Collection including Centurion Lounges and Delta SkyClubs (when flying same-day Delta Air Lines flights)
  • Access to Fine Hotels & Resorts program, plus credits and benefits during your stay, including $100 credit towards eligible onsite activities
  • Hilton Honors Gold elite status enrollment
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status enrollment
  • Travel and purchase protections
  • American Express preferred seating and presale access
NextAdvisor’s Take

The Citi Prestige and the Platinum Card from American Express are among the most premium travel rewards offerings available. Both carry hefty annual fees that can be offset by the plentiful added benefits and rewards. But if you’re willing to pay for it (and a large portion of your budget goes already goes toward travel), the extra perks offered by the American Express Platinum Card — including a bigger welcome offer, additional travel protections, and more annual credit — can make this card the better option.

Among credit cards offering travel rewards, benefits, and protections, there are a few that cost a lot more than most others in annual fees, but offer a lot more perks — like The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Citi Prestige® Credit Card

Both are solid options for travelers looking for a more luxurious experience, and both should be, given the high annual fees they carry — $695 (See Rates & Fees) for the American Express Platinum and $495 for the Citi Prestige. Both offer perks like lounge access, travel credits, hotel elite status, and more. 

Pro Tip

The Citi Prestige’s Fourth Night Free benefit can save you hundreds of dollars per year — if you are the kind of traveler that can take advantage of it.

But there are some key differences between the two. 

Here’s how they stack up against each other, so you can decide which might be a better fit for your financial and travel goals.

Side by Side Comparison

Amex PlatinumCiti Prestige
Annual Fee$695$495
Welcome Offer100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in the first six months of card membership50,000 Citi ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of card membership
Bonus Points5x on flights booked directly with airlines or at American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year); 5x on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel; 1x on other purchases5x on airlines, travel agencies and restaurants; 3x on hotels and cruise lines; 1x on everything else
CreditsUp to $200 airline incidental fee credit; up to $200 Uber Cash annually for U.S. rides and Uber Eats ($15 monthly Uber Cash); up to $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue statement credit (up to $50 semi-annually); up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel; $240 in annual statement credits (up to $20 per month) on purchases or subscriptions with Audible, The New York Times, SiriusXM and Peacock; up to $189 annual statement credit for a CLEAR® membership; $300 in annual statement credits (up to $25 per month) on eligible Equinox memberships or a digital subscriptions to Equinox+, an on-demand fitness appUp to $250 travel statement credit (including airlines, hotels, rental cars, travel agencies and more) 
Travel PerksAmerican Express Global Lounge Collection access; Delta SkyClub access when flying Delta; Gold Status with Hilton and Marriott; up to $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck statement credit; Priority Pass lounge accessFourth night free when booking through ThankYou.com, twice per year; up to $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck statement credit; Priority Pass lounge access

Bonus Comparison

While a card’s welcome offer, also known as a sign-up bonus, shouldn’t be your only consideration for applying, it certainly plays a big part.

The Amex Platinum currently has a welcome offer of 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in the first six months after opening your account. You can redeem these points for travel via the Amex Travel portal or by transferring them to partners such as Delta Air Lines and Marriott.

On the other hand, the Citi Prestige card currently has a welcome offer of 50,000 ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. You can redeem ThankYou points for travel via the ThankYou.com portal, or transfer them to partners such as JetBlue, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
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Citi Prestige® Credit Card

Citi Prestige® Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (3.5/5)
  • Intro offer:
    50,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $495
  • Regular APR:
    16.99% – 23.99% variable APR based on your creditworthiness*
  • Recommended credit:
    740-850 (Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site
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Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro offer:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $550
  • Regular APR:
    19.24% – 26.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    740-850 (Excellent)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site

Rewards Comparison

Each card also offers bonus points on certain categories of spending.

The Amex Platinum earns 5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with airlines or via AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year), and 1x on everything else.

The Citi Prestige card also earns 5x on airlines, as well as on spending at travel agencies, but adds an important category with an elevated bonus, since it earns 5x points at restaurants. It earns 3x on hotels and cruise lines, and 1x on everything else. 

APRs

Both cards have a relatively high APR. The Amex Platinum has a variable APR of 18.24% to 25.24 variable, and the Citi Prestige also has a variable APR of 16.74% to- 24.74%. 

We recommend paying your bills on time and in full every month if you can afford to do so, to avoid paying interest at these high rates — otherwise, interest spending can negate the value of the rewards you earn.

Fees

Both are premium travel rewards credit cards, with fees to match. The Amex Platinum carries a $695 annual fee, and the Citi Prestige carries a $495 annual fee.

While the fees are steep, you can find value even in high-fee cards if you can take advantage of the perks they offer, which can be worth more than those fees. Otherwise, we suggest you stick with lower-fee or even no-annual-fee cards.  

How to Decide Between the Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige

Both of these credit cards come with a solid list of perks and benefits, and can offer a lot of value to frequent travelers. They differ, however, mostly in their earnings structure and in the protections they offer in case of travel disruptions. 

With earnings on airfare at the same 5x level for both cards, you could be swayed in favor of the Citi card by the 5x points at restaurants versus one point per dollar for the Amex.

But if you value travel protections — essentially, you’ll be reimbursed for disruptions if you paid for the tickets with a card offering that benefit — then you have a clear favorite in the Amex Platinum.         

If you don’t travel frequently, or don’t plan to use the perks of either card, you likely will be better off with another card altogether.

Lounge Access

The Amex Platinum offers cardholders free access to its Global Lounge Collection, which includes Centurion Lounges around the world. You can also access  Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta, on the same day of your flight. The card also offers access to the Priority Pass network of airport lounges worldwide, which has more than 1,000 lounges.

On the other hand, the Citi Prestige Card only comes with complimentary Priority Pass lounge access. While most are less luxurious than Amex-branded lounges, Priority Pass lounges are found in far more places, and are worlds better than waiting for your flight at the gate or a noisy airport restaurant — plus food is generally free in airport lounges.     

Transferring Points to Hotels and Airlines

With both cards, you’ll earn what’s known as “transferable points,” meaning points that you can transfer to hotels and airlines to use for free travel. Amex points are called “Membership Rewards points” and Citi points are known as “ThankYou points.” 

Each issuer has a handful of “transfer partners,” as in hotels or airlines to which you can transfer those points. For example, you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Delta and Marriott, and you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to JetBlue and Emirates. If you intend to fly on a specific airline or stay at a specific hotel, make sure that it’s a transfer partner of the card you choose.  

Both cards also give you access to what’s known as travel portals, where instead of transferring points to an airline or hotel, you can redeem them directly through the card issuer’s site. It’s relatively easier than transferring, but you’ll usually get less value out of your points by doing this.

Travel Credits

Both the Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige come with travel credits that you can use to save money either at hotels or on airlines.

For example, the Amex Platinum comes with a $200 airline fee credit which can be used for things like checked baggage fees on your selected airline. It is a fairly narrow benefit. It also recently introduced additional perks, including a $200 annual credit on prepaid bookings through the Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection properties, which requires a minimum two-night stay, made through American Express Travel, as well as a $189 credit for a CLEAR® membership.

The Citi Prestige, though, comes with a broad $250 annual travel credit that can be used across airlines, hotels, travel agencies, car rental services and more.

Both of these credits, though, can help knock down the prices of the card’s annual fee.

Other Perks and Credits

The Amex Platinum comes with up to a $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit (up to $50 every six months per calendar year).

While it isn’t a credit, the Citi Prestige has a unique benefit known as the Fourth Night Free. With this, you can get your fourth night for free at virtually any hotel in the world, twice per year. To do so, you must book through ThankYou.com. This perk is very useful for people who tend to stay at hotels for relatively long periods, and it could even pay for the card all by itself if used for a luxury hotel, where the nightly rate can be higher than the Prestige’s $495 annual fee.   

Travel Protections

In September 2019, Citi removed travel protections from the Prestige card. That means the card no longer offers valuable features such as worldwide car rental insurance; trip cancellation and  interruption insurance; delay protection insurance, which pays for your expenses if your trip is delayed; worldwide travel accident insurance; lost and delayed baggage protection; and more.

The Amex Platinum card, on the other hand, comes with travel protections such as car rental loss and damage insurance, baggage insurance plan, trip cancellation/interruption insurance and trip delay coverage.

This is one key benefit area where the Amex Platinum card clearly outshines the Citi Prestige in value for people who travel often.

Bottom Line

The Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige cards are travel cards that can help you have a more luxurious travel experience. Both come with benefits like lounge access and a $100 TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee credit, but vary in terms of travel credits, transfer partners and other perks. 

A huge distinction between the two is that the American Express card offers travel insurance and protections that the Citi card does not, while the latter earns a lot more points at restaurants. Keep this in mind when deciding which one fits your lifestyle better.      

When deciding for any credit card, we always recommend looking at your budget and spending habits — and travel preferences, if it’s a travel rewards card. Doing so can help you find the card that better matches your unique situation and goals, and it will help you decide if the benefits offset the annual fee the card may charge.